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Anger, dismay in Europe as Obama set to `scrap missile shield`

Last Updated: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 16:23

London: The US has finally `scraped the missile defence shield` in Eastern Europe, fuelling anger and dismay in the continent where it had been seen as an guarantee of American support for the former
satellite states of the former USSR, the latest news report said on Thursday.

Jan Fischer, the Czech Prime Minister, said that
President Barack Obama had personally informed him that the
United States was shelving plans to build a radar base in the
Czech Republic and site interceptor rockets in Poland.

"President Barack Obama called me shortly after
midnight to tell me his government was giving up its intention
to build a radar base on Czech soil," Fischer was quoted as
saying by The Times newspaper on Thursday.

"The Czech Republic has acknowledged this decision,"
he told reporters in Prague.

A formal announcement on the move may be announced as
early as today with Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary,
scheduling a news briefing in Washington, the report in the
British daily said.

The move means a major reversal from the policies of
Former US President George Bush, who pushed aggressively for
the project to provide an essential defence against missile
attacks from Iran and North Korea.

Above all, the decision to shelve the plan will ease
tensions with Russia - which saw it as threat to its own
ballistic missile defences - but prompted dismay in Eastern
and Central Europe, where the shield had been seen as an
effective guarantee of US support against its former imperial
master Soviet Union.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 16:23

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